LONDON — London-based international sales and finance outfit WestEnd Films has scooped up rights to Kanu Behl’s “Titli,” which plays as part of Cannes official selection in Un Certain Regard. Behl will be a contender for the Camera d’Or, the award for feature directing debut.
The film is co-produced by Yash Raj Films, one of the leading players in the Indian film industry, and DBP, the production house of cult Indian producer-director Dibakar Banerjee, who produces.
The deal was led by Guneet Monga, best known as the producer of Hindi-language films such as “The Lunchbox,” “Shaitan” and “Gangs of Wasseypur.”
The movie stars Ranveer Shorey, Amit Sial, Lalit Behl and Shivani Raghuvanshi, and introduces Shashank Arora.
Set in Delhi’s underbelly, the pic centers on Titli, the youngest member of a violent carjacking brotherhood, who plots to escape the “family” business.
” ‘Titli’ is the kind of punch-in-the-gut movie that stays with you long after the credits have rolled. The tension builds up from the first scenes and will keep audiences on the edge of their seats worldwide,” said Fabien Westerhoff, head of sales at WestEnd Films. “Following the success of ‘The Lunchbox,’ there is an exciting new frontier of Indian filmmakers, and Kanu is an incredible new voice, ready to burst out onto the international scene.”
” ‘Titli’ is a film about family, roots, and the ghosts of circularity within our most intimate relationships,” Behl said. “It’s an extremely personal film, brought to life through Dibakar and YRF. The journey to the core of the film has been a difficult and exciting one, and I’m looking forward to it going out into the world.”
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Banerjee said: “Kanu Behl’s ‘Titli’ is a film that turns all the tropes of an Indian film on its head. Its take on patriarchy and the family system breaks new ground, making the story both universal and uniquely personal at the same time.”
Avtar Panesar, VP international operations at YRF, added: ” ‘Titli’ is a departure from the big Bollywood extravaganzas our studio is renowned for. ‘Titli’ is a classic case of opposites attract — YRF represents classic Bollywood and DBP represents new age Indian cinema. ‘Titli’ is a product of this unification — a film that is very Indian at its core and yet speaks a global cinematic language. We’re delighted to be teaming up with DBP, Guneet and WestEnd Films on ‘Titli’ to take this little gem to the world.”